Saturday 7 April 1666

Lay pretty long to-day, lying alone and thinking of several businesses. So up to the office and there till noon. Thence with my Lord Bruncker home by coach to Mrs. Williams’s, where Bab. Allen and Dr. Charleton dined. Bab and I sang and were mighty merry as we could be there, where the rest of the company did not overplease. Thence took her by coach to Hales’s, and there find Mrs. Pierce and her boy and Mary. She had done sitting the first time, and indeed her face is mighty like at first dash. Thence took them to the cakehouse, and there called in the coach for cakes and drank, and thence I carried them to my Lord Chancellor’s new house to shew them that, and all mightily pleased, thence set each down at home, and so I home to the office, where about ten of the clock W. Hewer comes to me to tell me that he has left my wife well this morning at Bugden, which was great riding, and brings me a letter from her. She is very well got thither, of which I am heartily glad. After writing several letters, I home to supper and to bed. The Parliament of which I was afraid of their calling us of the Navy to an account of the expense of money and stores and wherein we were so little ready to give them a good answer [will soon meet]. The Bishop of Munster, every body says, is coming to peace with the Dutch, we having not supplied him with the money promised him.

18 Annotations

Bradford  •  Link

Why is Barbara Allen (the right person to sing with) also named Elizabeth Knepp? I forget.

"the rest of the company did not overplease": what a delicate turn of phrase.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Barbary Allen and Dapper Dicky together and "mighty merry" again....

cape henry  •  Link

While the Elizabeth is away, the Samuel will be livin' large.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...where about ten of the clock W. Hewer comes to me to tell me that he has left my wife well this morning at Bugden, which was great riding, and brings me a letter from her."

Korngold film theme...Shot of bold rider on lathered horse dashing over fields in the early am...Cloak roguishly slung back over shoulders...Heroic leaps over various obstacles...

Charles looking overhead on seeing a rapidly closing shadow...My word...Ducking slightly...

"Who is that man?" Lady Castlemaine staring after horse and rider vanishing across the way.

"Jamie? That looked like an official pouch on his side. Are we being invaded or what?" Charles looks to James who shrugs...

"Must be one of Pepys' men...No other office in our administration has that kind of hustle."

Gallant leap of horse and man across gate into London proper, crowd parting in astonishment...

"Hewer...?" Sam staring at panting horse and rider.

"From...Mrs...Pepys, sir...Letter..."

"Oh..." takes missive. "Yes...Trip was very pleasant, no trouble. Thanks, Hewer."

"Yes...Sir..." heaving breaths.

"Bit much with the theme music, don't you think?"

"Sorry, sir..."


Bugden...That a misscan or Sam's little joke about Buckden?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Hmmm. Bugden. So transcribe L&M. 60 miles away, they say.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

"which was great riding"
And it was - about 65 miles in around 12 hours. Luckily, we have a record of the event:

HOW I BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS FROM Bugden to Sam(OR VICE VERSA)by W. Hewer as told to
RJ Yeatman & W C Sellar (excerpt)

I sprang to the rollocks and Jorrocks and me
And I galloped, you galloped, we galloped all three...
Not a word to each other; we kept changing place,
Neck to neck, back to front, ear to ear, face to face;
And we yelled once or twice, when we heard a clock chime,
'Would you kindly oblige us, Is that the right time?'
As I galloped, you galloped, we galloped, ye galloped they too have galloped; let us trot.

I unsaddled the saddled, unbuckled the bit,
Unshackled the bridle (the thing didn't fit)
And ungalloped, ungalloped, ungalloped,ungalloped a bit.
Then I cast off my bluff-coat, let my bowler hat fall,
Took off both my boots and my trousers and all -
Drank off my stirrup-cup, felt a bit tight,
And unbridled the saddle, it still wasn't right.

Then all I remember is, things reeling round
As I sat with my head 'twixt my knees on the ground -
For imagine my shame when asked what I meant
And I had to confess that I'd been, gone and damn,
forgotten the news I was bringing to Sam,
Though I'd galloped and galloped and galloped and galloped and galloped
And galloped and galloped and galloped. (Had I not would I have been galloped?)

Firenze  •  Link

Was it not 'sat with my head twixt my ears on the ground...'?

From that estimable work, Horse Nonsense.

JWB  •  Link

Tain't nothing. Pony Bob Haslam rode 180 miles in 8 hours carrying Linclon's 1st inaugural address west.

JWB  •  Link


From Bucge's(name pronuonced w/long u & ending gz)+ dene=valley. Town's name must have been gentrified to Buckden from the short "u" Bugden for obvious reason.

Deborah Beale  •  Link

She had done sitting the first time, and indeed her face is mighty like at first dash --

can someone explain the meaning of this intriguing phrase?

Mary  •  Link

She had just finished sitting for the artist for the first time and his initial sketching-in of her face (the first dash) already look much like the sitter.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

On "great riding" and the the Pony Express:

Scroll down for the exploits of Pony Bob Haslam and Sam Hamilton (covered 60 miles at night in rain and sleet from Sacramento 4,000 feet into the Sierra Nevada in 4 hours three minutes -- many horses)

Phoenix  •  Link

Ahem. 120 miles.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"There...April 7, 1666...The proof, Robert...Another letter of Elisabeth Pepys existed."

"But how can we be sure these letters are linked to these present-day events?"

"Robert...The world's most successful hard-driving, sensitive-yet-astonishingly-neglectful, philandering-though-married-for-love, administrative-yet-actually-accomplishing-useful-tasks male types are being murdered around the world. What else can it be but the Hit-You-Over-the-Head Society, established by the followers of Elisabeth Pepys after her untimely death? And the secret to that society is to be found in those few letters."

"In conjunction with the Diary..."

"Yes...The key to the..."

"...Pepys Code?"

Naturally...Bess in Heaven glares at Sam...

"'Pepys Code'...It would never be 'St. Michel Code'."

JWB  •  Link


You can find both distances for Pony Bob's ride cited at By the way, Bob was born in London 1840.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"...She had done sitting the first time, ..."

Do we know if this portrait exists still?

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